Conscious Grief Series 3
Day 17 with Sasha Bates
Sasha Bates is a psychotherapist, journalist and former documentary filmmaker. Eighteen years in the TV industry saw her write, direct and produce series as varied as Omnibus, Grand Designs, Live and Kicking, and How to Look Good Naked, alongside an on-going side-line in travel journalism.
Her fascination with people – with what makes us each tick and what creates the myriad dynamics between us all – had fuelled her career as a filmmaker. As this interest grew stronger, she discovered a need to understand the human mind, emotions and relationships much more deeply. She left television behind and trained as an integrative psychotherapist. After working in the NHS and in higher education she went on to set up her own private practice.
When her husband, Bill, died unexpectedly at just fifty-six, Sasha turned back to writing, hoping that by doing so she might somehow start to make sense of the tumultuous feelings of grief that were overwhelming her. As she wrote her pain down onto the page, she began to find her ‘therapist self’ entering the conversation, trying to use what she knew of therapeutic theory to help navigate through the new and unwelcome world into which she had been thrust.
The resulting book, “Languages of Loss”, is part memoir, part psychoeducation into what therapeutic wisdom can offer grievers. It was published in April 2020,right at the start of the Covid pandemic, just when far too many of us were experiencing grief and loss first hand.
The feedback she received for “Languages of Loss” showed her how necessary it was to open up a new and straightforward conversation about grief. “A Grief Companion”, her second book, fills that gap and provides some practical tools as to how to navigate those painful first few months when everything is so raw and support feels hard to find. It also offers suggestions for the friends of the bereaved as to how they can best be there for their friend.
Sasha’s third book, “Yoga Saved My Life”, explores what yoga and psychotherapy together can offer those of us grappling with the big issues and concerns facing most of us today – anxiety, stress, depression, anger, conflict, addiction, uncertainty, loneliness, and more.
Sasha continues her work as a journalist, psychotherapist and tutor. She teaches workshops about grief, yoga, and self care to other therapists, and to the general public. She has also founded a commemorative theatrical bursary she set up in honour of her late husband – The Bill Cashmore Award – in conjunction with The Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith.